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    Category: Heating and Cooling – Install

    3 Reasons You Need to Install Spray Foam Insulation – Fife Free Press - March 27, 2020 by admin

    When it comes to making your home properly insulated and energy-efficient, there is much conflicting information around the best insulation methodto consider. From concrete foams and blocks, blanket bats and rolls, loose fit and blown-ins, to reflective systems, the options are just too many.

    However, there is this one technique that most homeowners give priority, especially when planning to hire commercial flat roofing in Midland, Michigan for their roofing needs. That is the spray foam insulation. Here are four key reasons why you need to give this technique some attention:

    Spray foam insulation outperforms popular types of insulation due to its expansiveness. The two resins that make up the foam, isocyanate and polyol resins, typically react and expand to utmost 60 times their liquid volumes when sprayed. As a result, insulation experts can easily make the foam into desirable shapes that fit into all nooks and crannies of various surfaces.

    Secondly, spray foam insulation has incredibly high R-value as compared to other variants in the market. For open cell coating, the foam offers an R-3.7inch value. On the other hand, closed-cell coating guarantees as high as R-6Inch value. The difference between the two values is that the first option allows penetration of water vapor. At the same time, the latter is a permanent barrier to both air and water vapor penetration.

    The resistance value of spray foam is incredibly high as compared to other variants in the market. Open-cell spray foam coating features an R-value of about 3.7 inches. Whereas closed-cell coating has an R-value of about six inches. The difference between the two R-values is because the open cell is water vapor permeable while the latter is not.

    If you are looking for a form of insulation that will guarantee lifetime efficiency for your insulation needs, then spray foam is your best bet. During application, experts mix then spray the two resins onto the surfaces and cracks on the walls, attics, basement, and unheated surfaces. Upon exposure to air, the two resins expand aggressively, leaving no crevice or crack unfilled. The liquid then settles to foam a solid rock barrier that can stay for as long as you will be ready to demolish it.

    Spray foam does not lose its R-value over time. Meaning, its efficiency and functionality level will remain intact for as long as you would wish to move out.

    Most homesteads in the U.S.lose approximately 56% of their energy through heating and cooling. However, with unsealed pores and cold winter weather, the figures can go to as high as 70%. At this level, your energy bills can double or even triple.

    Houses treated with spray foams guarantee energy-efficiency of up to 50%. The foam acts as a barrier to penetration of heat into the thermal envelope in the homestead. The resulting airtight envelope around the house will also prevent heat from escaping from inside the house to the exterior worlds. That saves on expenses that you could have used to heat the room.

    Spray foam remains the best option when it comes to home insulation. It offers the best value for money and guarantees user experience that is second to none. Feel free to check it out when doing your attic, basement, walls, floors and crawl spaces, ductworks, sidewalls, and any other easy to overlook areas in your homestead.

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    3 Reasons You Need to Install Spray Foam Insulation - Fife Free Press

    Why energy-efficient windows and doors are important for your home and the environment – The Herald-News - March 27, 2020 by admin

    On average, your home may lose around 30 percent of its heating energy through its windows.

    Products that earn the ENERGY STAR are independently certified to save energy, save money and protect the climate.

    By installing ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors, you are using up to 30 percent less energy which reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and homes.

    When you put an end to cold drafts and overheated spaces, you significantly decrease your energy use and lower utility bills. Energy-efficient windows and doors also have great insulation features, blocking unwanted noise from your home.

    Replacing your windows can enhance the value of your home by 20 percent. According to a recent study, 84 percent of millennials are willing to pay up to 3 percent more for an energy-efficient home. Additionally, 76 percent of homeowners are concerned about the energy efficiency of their windows.

    Energy-efficient windows and doors also reduces your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint measures the carbon dioxide emissions that are caused by your activities, and home energy accounts for about one-quarter of your carbon footprint.

    Window World installs replacement windows year-round and a standard install will take only one day. Installers install one window at a time and are trained to do whatever necessary to minimize heating/cooling loss. The energy savings from the new windows will recover any additional costs incurred within a few days.

    Over time the price of your windows and doors may be offset by cost savings on your energy bills associated with our energy-efficient windows, siding, and doors. The tax credits are also available for residential renewable energy products through Dec. 31, 2021.

    Window World of Joliet: 2363 Copper Ct., Crest Hill, IL 60403, 815-729-3100,

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    Why energy-efficient windows and doors are important for your home and the environment - The Herald-News

    Curing hospitals addiction to the fossil fuels that make people sick – The Boston Globe - March 27, 2020 by admin

    Bob Biggio, the buoyant former merchant marine who oversees facilities and support services for BMC, likens a hospital to an oceangoing ship: Both need to be self-sufficient and resilient in extreme weather and unexpected disasters. Years before the coronavirus pandemic was upending life around the world, Biggio was preparing for crises by changing the sprawling campus to work more efficiently. The efforts are paying off now as the hospital works to keep patients and employees safe by erecting tents outside facilities to screen for possible cases, conserving protective equipment, and reducing clinical traffic through telehealth, among other measures. Unlike a hurricane or other natural disaster that clinicians have to react to, BMC is dealing with the virus much more proactively, Biggio says. Its all hands on deck.

    Biggios no tree hugger; hes been driving the bulk of the emissions reduction and other sustainability efforts he initiated as part of a campus consolidation effort about a decade ago because they make financial sense, especially at a hospital like this one, where more than half of the patients are from underserved populations. Along with a deal to offset its fossil fuel use by buying solar power from North Carolina, these moves have made BMC about 96 percent carbon neutral for energy, and its on track to become New Englands first carbon-neutral hospital by year-end, Biggio says. Hes quick to acknowledge that BMC is still using fossil fuels but offsets them with renewable energy credits.


    Every day, in the course of providing medical care, the global health care industry is also making people sick. Thats because its one of the biggest polluters in the world. Compared with many other industries, it emits a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants into the air. Thousands of hospitals around the United States rely on fossil fuels night and day to power equipment and to heat, cool, and light buildings, contributing to the pollution and global warming that, in turn, can cause or aggravate maladies. For years, medical waste incinerators were considered the top source of dioxinsthe harmful result of burning chlorinated IV bags and other materials that once conveyed lifesaving treatments to patients. (Advocacy efforts and US Environmental Protection Agency regulations shrank the number of such incinerators from 2,400 in 1997 to around 30 as of 2013, which is the last time the agency says it updated its inventory.)

    Exposure to dirty air, carcinogens produced by burning waste, and neurotoxins such as mercury has caused significant harm to people, including birth defects, brain damage, and learning disabilities. Given the health care sectors enormous impact, its healing mission, and its Hippocratic oath, hospitals have an extra responsibility compared to other industries to kick their addiction to fossil fuels, says Gary Cohen, who cofounded the nonprofit advocacy group Health Care Without Harm in 1996 and was awarded a MacArthur genius grant in 2015.

    If the global health care sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter on the planet, estimates a September report from Health Care Without Harm. In the United States, the industry accounts for 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 9 percent of other types of harmful air pollutants, according to research cited by a Journal of the American Medical Association commentary published in August. Ironically, modern health care is a major contributor to pollution that adversely affects human health, it warned. As the health implications of climate change have become clearer, prompting clinicians to push the entities they work for to green their operations, BMC has emerged as a national leader.

    Kate Walsh, BMCs president and chief executive, cochairs a working group of 20 health care entities tackling climate change that is part of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. Besides BMC, the group includes Brigham and Womens Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, which are part of the Partners HealthCare system, and other heavy hitters such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Childrens Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Tufts Medical Center. Collectively, theyve cut their greenhouse gas emissions by one-third since 2011, the group estimates, exceeding city and state targets. Boston, seen all over the world as a medical mecca, is likely the only city in the United States that collects such data from its health care sector, says Paul Lipke, a senior adviser to Health Care Without Harm, which coordinates the effort. Its quite unusual even to know what an entire metro health sectors greenhouse gas progress has been.

    Clinicians recognize the most vulnerable populations are the least equipped to cope with the illnesses, injuries, and diseases caused or exacerbated by climate change, Lipke says. The urgency comes from what we see in our emergency rooms every time theres a heat wave or extreme weather.


    For Lilliana Arteaga, 46, who oversees a Boston public schools playgroup program for toddlers and their parents, the health effects of fossil fuels and climate change are personal. She and two of her three children suffer from asthma that gets worse when the air quality is bad or the temperature swings significantly. When her asthma kicks in, It feels like I have ropes tying my lungs and I cannot stretch them to catch the air, Arteaga says.

    Her youngest son, Damyen, used an inhaler three times a day for a year until his doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital recommended he start taking a chewable pill daily and stay indoors as much as possible. Damyens medication doesnt stop the 7-year-old from coughing and coughing until he feels like hes going to pass out from bus exhaust and other triggers, Arteaga says.

    In January, doctors found a third tumor in Arteagas right lung. Like the colon cancer for which she was diagnosed five years ago and successfully treated, these tumors are likely linked to environmental, not genetic, factors, her doctors say.

    Arteaga joined the East Boston chapter of the advocacy group Mothers Out Front in November to connect with others affected by the climate crisis and to help spread the word about the health impacts of burning fossil fuels. When it touches you is when you really get into learning more about it, she says. Whenever their kids are coughing too much, people come and ask questions. They want to know more about the environmental cancer and asthma.

    In mid-January, the Boston City Council unanimously passed a resolution, offered by Councilor Matt OMalley, affirming that the climate crisis is a public health emergency, echoing the conclusion reached by more than 100 health groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.


    Six stories above Massachusetts Avenue, on the rooftop of BMCs massive Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center, nine air handling units are pumping fresh air into the building 24-seven. The air needs to be filtered, changed regularly, and warmed or cooled depending on the departmentthe babies in the neonatal unit need warmer and moister air than a standard patient room, for instance. Heating and cooling systems are hospitals biggest energy hogs, accounting for far more total consumption than lights or medical equipment, says Jack Nelson, managing partner of the Boston office of engineering firm CMTA. Biggio credits Nelson with helping mastermind BMCs efficiency overhaul. Making these systems less hoggish involved modifying and increasing the size of the ductwork throughout the building to reduce the engine power needed to push the air into the building. The changes save BMC around $1.3 million annually on energy that Yawkey used to require, Nelson says.

    On the same rooftop, a cogeneration plant a bit bigger than a tractor-trailer hums, burning natural gas to generate electricity. Most of the plants waste heat, rather than escaping into the crisp blue sky, is being used to supplement the buildings heating. If a storm causes a blackout in Boston, the hospital can operate for months as long as its natural gas supply is flowing. Biggio traces his experiences on ships operating on the high seas and his visits to hospitals recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy to the investment in the plant, which was installed in 2017.

    About 10 years ago, BMCs Walsh bet on Biggios plan to consolidate the hospitals sprawling campus, reduce its energy use, and make it more resilient to severe weather. At the time, BMC the result of a hard-fought merger of two hospitals, orchestrated by Mayor Thomas Menino in 1996was facing receivership. We were, frankly, looking for savings, Walsh says.

    The consolidation, renovations, and efficiency improvements cost about $400 million. BMCs footprint shrank by 400,000 square feet, but its patient volume is up 20 percent and its energy and operations savings top $30 million annually. To pay for the projects, BMC issued green bond offerings totaling over $200 million, sold real estate, and got grants. The bonds were three to four times oversubscribed, suggesting their environmental nature increased investors appetite and likely shifted the interest rates in BMCs favor, Biggio says.

    Dr. Jennifer Tseng, BMCs surgeon-in-chief and chair of the surgery department at the Boston University School of Medicine, recalls meeting Biggio when she was being recruited four years ago and being struck by the hospitals quiet commitment to shrink its environmental footprint. Today, sustainability is a concern for many of the medical students, residents, and faculty Tseng recruits. It may not be at the top of their list, but it matters, she says. Residents talk about this stuff all the time. Tseng, a cancer surgeon, has also noticed patients seeking hospitals trying to be green. It matters to them that it matters to the hospital.


    BMCs sustainability commitment attracts climate-conscious clinicians and visitors seeking to green their facilities. Most come from around the United Stateseven as far away as Alaska. But, last summer, Emmanuel Kamanzi traveled all the way from Rwanda to tour BMC and other area institutions. After living as refugees in Uganda, Kamanzis family had relocated to their home country of Rwanda shortly after it was ravaged by the 1994 genocide. He eventually made his way to Boston, where he got a job at nonprofit Partners in Health, and completed courses at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Business School. In 2017, wanting to give back, he moved his family to Rwanda and became director of infrastructure for the University of Global Health Equity, which is owned and operated by Partners in Health.

    Kamanzi appreciates Biggios ability to wrangle grants and squeeze savings from energy efficiency. And, like Biggio, he wants to make the community his facility serves more resilient in the face of extreme weather. You cannot talk about climate change and exclude health, he says. His goal is to install a centralized solar power plant on campus to take it off-grid within five to 10 years. Depending on the feasibility study underway, it could also supply power to the surrounding community, including a nearby hospital where University of Global Health Equity students will train.

    Gundersen Health System, a nonprofit hospital network in the Midwest, became the first in the country to attain energy independence in 2014 by offsetting its fossil fuel use with renewable energy produced on-site or locally. As the La Crosse, Wisconsin-headquartered organization has grown to more than 100 facilities totaling about 3 million square feet in three states, it has remained energy independent. Reducing reliance on burning fossil fuels fits our mission to improve the health and well-being of communities we serve, says Alan Eber, Gundersens director of facility operations. Not only are we reducing our harmful emissions, were also reducing the cost of care.

    Interest from health care institutions and others has grown so much that Gundersen offers energy consulting through a separate business it established in 2010. Clients can get energy checkups, help with assessing technologies, and advice on overcoming permitting challenges, among other services. Some talk about wanting to install solar panels, windmills, and other technologies, Eber says. We say, Stop. Before you do any of that, take care of your house as it is right now. Like BMC, Gundersen regularly monitors its buildings energy consumption, which it reduced by 25 percent in three years by making tweaks.


    Its still relatively early days for substantive change at many hospitals, says Cassandra Thiel, an assistant professor at New York University who researches sustainability in health care systems and coauthored the JAMA commentary. There are not enough hospitals taking broad enough action on this, she says, but shes optimistic more hospitals will come around as pressure mounts. Clinicians are increasingly aware of patients suffering from conditions connected to air pollution and climate change, including pulmonary and cardiac problems and infectious diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks, Thiel says. Severe weather, food and water shortages, and forced migration take a toll on mental health as well. It gets pretty dark pretty quickly, she says.

    Health Care Without Harms Cohen describes the health worker-driven movement as being at the top of the third inning. Twenty health care systems representing 500 of the roughly 5,500 hospitals in the country have joined the groups climate council. Sustainability data collected from 327 US hospitals last year indicated their sustainability initiatives had saved $68 million and avoided putting 183,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (roughly equivalent to the annual energy use of over 21,000 homes) into the air in 2018. Half said theyd provided education about the connection between the climate and health to their staff, patients, or community members.

    For a hospitalor any entitywanting to use energy more efficiently, making physical improvements isnt enough, says Biggio. Buildings need people who can run and maintain increasingly sophisticated systems, or the buildings wont live up to their energy-efficiency potential. Instead, theyll needlessly pollute and burn money, he says. But theres a shortage of technicians who understand HVAC, electrical, and programming basics, and want to commit to a career operating big buildings. As demand accelerates, some 115,000 smart building jobs across the United States could go unfilled by 2022 because of the lack of trained workers, warns Siemens, a German conglomerate that makes building control systems and other technologies.

    Training programs are critical, says architect Frank Mruk, executive director of the Center for Smart Building Technology at Roxbury Community College. Just as cars have become increasingly computerized, forcing mechanics to acquire new skills, buildings have, too, and managing them is a new profession, he says. The center, which launched in April in a former day-care center, aims to fill what Mruk calls the huge void in the field by offering a variety of certification programs in so-called smart building technology. Students can get training in wiring circuits and programming to design, build, install, and operate systems that use sensors, thermostats, and other equipment. More offerings are in the works, including a two-year associates degree, Mruk says. Technicians salaries start around $50,000, according to the center.

    Boston institutions will need thousands of these technicians to meet the citys goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, Mruk estimates. Hes been meeting with Biggio and others scrambling to prime their technician pipelines. Scientists are saying if we dont make a significant reduction in carbon emissions within 10 years, its almost like game over, Mruk says. Hospitals are the hardest types of buildings to make carbon neutral, he adds. If you can figure out how to do this for hospitals, everything else is easy.

    In the meantime, as the connections between pollution, climate, and health become evident, the health care industry is recognizing it needs to reduce its environmental impact to heal the individuals and communities it serves, says Cohen. Climate is the elephant in the waiting room.


    Nick Leiber is a journalist in New York. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, and others. Send comments to

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    Curing hospitals addiction to the fossil fuels that make people sick - The Boston Globe

    Commercial Combined Heat And Power (CHP) Market Influential Factors Determining the Trajectory of the Market – Skyline Gazette - March 27, 2020 by admin

    The global market for commercial combined heat and power (CHP) systems should reach $26.1 billion by 2022 from $20.2 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%, from 2017 to 2022.

    Report Scope:

    The CHP system reduces the cost of electricity and heat production by increasing the thermal efficiency of the system. The CHP systems are used in industrial, commercial and residential applications. The report segments the market on the basis of end-use sector, fuel type, technology and equipment. The key technologies used in CHP systems are also covered at length. The report focuses on energy conservation technologies as well.

    All major markets are further segmented on geography basis. The major geography covered in the report are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the Rest of World (RoW). Furthermore, a country specific breakdown of the CHP system market is also included in the report. Values were estimated on the basis of cumulative CHP installed capacity, annual CHP installed capacity, various application markets, average cost of technology and revenue generated from the sale of various equipment and services. The study covers the global commercial CHP market irrespective of the included countries. Countries were included mainly on the basis of total revenue generated. Major countries included in the report are the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K., Spain, Italy, France, China, Japan and India.

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    Estimated values used are based on manufacturers total revenues and forecasted revenue values are in constant U.S. dollars, unadjusted for inflation. Unit volumes of energy production as well as revenue generated from the sale of CHP systems and services were tracked in order to estimate the market. A large number of manufacturers as well as end users are profiled in the report for a better understanding of the market.

    This report on the commercial CHP market provides a market overview, assesses application markets, provides an end user analysis, and evaluates the CHP market by technology, fuel type and geographical region. The major companies are profiled, and includes a detailed introduction, product portfolios and recent developments for each.

    Report Includes:

    An overview of the global commercial combined heat and power (CHP) market Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2016, estimates for 2017, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2022 Breakdown of the market by application, technology, fuel, equipment, and geography Detailed analysis pertaining to the markets dynamics, including growth driving factors, restraints, challenges, and opportunities Information regarding market strategies, product launches, and mergers and acquisitions Profiles of major players in the industry

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    The commercial combined heat and power (CHP) market is increasing modestly with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2017 through 2022. The market is segmented on the basis of end-use sector, fuel, technology and region. The major factors driving the CHP market across the globe include the demand for energy conservation, cohesive government policies, high efficiency and technological advancement. High initial cost may affect the market growth, however, rising environmental concern, rising demand for energy and favorable government policies are expected to boost the market in the near future. Cost effectiveness and capability to increase overall operationalefficiency are major motivators of the commercial CHP market.

    It is estimated that around two-thirds of the energy used to generate electricity is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere and there is considerable energy loss in the distribution of electricity to the end users. On the other hand, CHP has the potential to provide efficiencies of around 60% to 80% compared with 40% to 50% for conventional technologies. As a result, there is imminent demand for CHP technologies across the globe. The on-site electricity generation effectively captures the wasted heat to provide useful thermal energy such as steam or hot water that can be used for space heating, cooling, industrial processes and domestic hot water.

    CHP is widely adopted by major hospitals, schools, university campuses, hotels, nursing homes, office buildings and apartment complexes to save on energy costs, increase energy reliability and cut carbon emissions. In 2012, commercial buildings and institutional applicants represented 13% of CHP systems in the U.S. In 2016, the U.S. government set a target to produce 40 gigawatts (GW) of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020, which is estimated to provide manufacturers and companies savings of $10 billion each year in energy costs. Capital investment in plants and facilities is expected to rise in the near future. Additionally, the CHP market will enable the reduction of carbon pollution by 150 million metric tons(Mt), which is estimated to be the emissions of more than 25 million cars. It has ecofriendly attributes and may reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 25% to 30% as compared with conventional systems.

    The end-use application sector will grow at a modest rate of 5.2% during the forecast period with a major contribution from industrial and commercial sectors. The commercial and district energy end-user sector is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period. District energy refers to the combination of electricity, steam, heating, or cooling at a central plant and with a distribution of energy to a network of nearby buildings. This encourages managers of individual buildings to get connected to the network in order to avoid the need to install and maintain their own boilers, furnaces, chillers, or air conditioners, thus saving on capital and maintenance costs.

    The CHP systems are available for all type of the fuels and applications. CHP application and fueling are greatly depend on the country and the energy producer. North America and China uses coal in industrial applications while France uses gas as its main fuel for CHP. In Russia, a higher share of electricity generation is with CHP. Other major countries are also adopting CHP for electricity generation to reduce carbon emissions. The CHP systems are preferred by consumers in all the geographies as the consumers pay less energy costs with increased energy efficiency from this system. American companies and manufacturers could potentially save around $10 billion by 2020 with the use of CHP systems.

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    Commercial Combined Heat And Power (CHP) Market Influential Factors Determining the Trajectory of the Market - Skyline Gazette

    Dragon Seats Announces Partnership with University of Iowa Baseball Program; Hawkeyes are First to Install Custom, Heated Benches in Dugout – Yahoo… - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Leading Heated and Cooling Sports Bench Provider Brings the #1 Bench in Sports to Americas Pastime

    Bourne Creations Inc., dba "Dragon Seats", the manufacturer and provider of patented heated and cooling sports benches to 19 NFL Member Clubs, 41 Division I college programs, 2 XFL franchises, and NHL Winter Classics has officially installed its first set of heated sports benches for the Iowa Hawkeyes mens baseball program within the home dugout at Duane Banks Field. The fully customized set of Dragon Seats heated seats includes three 12-foot sports benches and one six-foot sports bench, which will provide a continuous, temperature-controlled heated surface to keep players and coaches warm in the dugout.

    Dragon Seats heated and portable sports benches are trusted by athletes across the country who play in both extremely cold and hot scenarios. During the first half of the Iowa baseball season, many games are played in below-freezing or near-freezing temperatures. Dragon Seats ergonomically designed heated sports benches provide a comfortable, heated surface to rest on, even in the most extreme conditions. With baseball, starters may sit for upwards of 10-15 minutes at a time before retaking the diamond or batters box, so staying warm and loose is imperative to stave off muscle tightness and prevent muscle injuries.

    "The new year is off to an incredible start for Dragon Seats and we couldnt be happier to bring our player benches into a new sport at a top-tier baseball program that Coach Heller is building. The custom installation in the dugout is a major step forward for us," said New York City-based Franklin Floyd, chief operating officer at Dragon Seats. "Were confident that our sports benches will help reduce the risk of muscle injury, and keep the Hawkeye student-athletes loose and ready to play even in the coldest conditions."

    Led by Coach Rick Heller, the Iowa Hawkeyes mens baseball team has grown into a perennial Big Ten Conference and NCAA championship contender. Much of the success can be attributed to Hellers efforts to inject new life into the Iowa baseball program and provide a holistic and exciting atmosphere for the team. This includes using best-in-class equipment that can help improve player safety, performance, and comfort.

    "One area of focus is on providing the team with the best and highest-quality equipment so our players can be confident when they step into the batter's box or onto the field. Given the conditions we play in, Dragon Seats benches will play a critical role in giving our athletes that edge," Coach Heller said.

    To learn more about Dragon Seats and their patented heating and cooling technology please click here. Dragon Seats can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

    About Dragon Seats

    Based in Cleveland, Ohio, and with satellite offices in New York City and south Florida, Bourne Creation Inc. dba "Dragon Seats" started as the heated sideline bench provider for the Cleveland Browns in 2005 and now has a 15-year track record providing safety, performance, and comfort to athletes across the NFL, NCAA, XFL, and NHL. The companys patented heated and cooling portable sports bench technology has helped it become the #1 bench in sports. Dragon Seats sports benches can be found on the sidelines of 19 NFL Member Clubs, 41 NCAA Division I football programs, 2 XFL Clubs, NHL Winter Classics, hospitality spaces, and most recently in baseball dugouts. In total Dragon Seats provides over 400 portable heated and cooling benches in 75 locations across the United States at all levels of competition. To learn more visit

    View source version on


    Dragon Seats Franklin Floyd, COOPhone: 216.286.5042Email:

    Iowa HawkeyesName: Rick Heller, Head Baseball Coach for the Iowa HawkeyesPhone: 319-335-9259Email:

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    Dragon Seats Announces Partnership with University of Iowa Baseball Program; Hawkeyes are First to Install Custom, Heated Benches in Dugout - Yahoo...

    PropTech in the United States – where we’re heading Part 3: Smart buildings – data is the new gold. Keep it secure. – Lexology - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Smart buildings are not just buildings equipped with separate applications that can turn on the lights in response to vocal instructions or adjust room temperatures as the weather changes. Rather, in a smart building, various systems heating, ventilation, lighting and security are connected to each other to facilitate efficient and environmentally sound operations. Indeed, it is already possible to establish a system via the Internet of Things (IoT) that interconnects several smart buildings. New applications in space management, environmental monitoring, asset management, hygiene management and other emerging areas are forecasted to create US$ 2 billion in software and services revenues by 2026.

    These connected devices generate valuable data, which owners and operators can aggregate, analyze and apply not only to improve building performance and understand occupants needs, but to predict larger market trends.

    On the other hand, smart buildings raise operational cybersecurity issues since any entity that connects into a system can, if compromised, become a vector for an attack. The massive volumes of data generated by connected devices also bring with them serious concerns: not only operational issues, involving sensors, network connectivity, and storage power, but concerns about analytics understanding what all the data means and about security protecting all of that data from those who want to steal and misuse it.

    To address these risks, some companies have started embracing modern-scale technology as part of their everyday operations, with a particular focus on the security, privacy and reliability of their IoT devices. Meanwhile, regulators are entering the arena, expressing concerns about the potential threat to valuable personal data, and calling for heightened accountability for the property owners and operators of smart buildings.

    In this article, we analyze the legal implications of operating smart buildings.

    Smart buildings are smart

    In a smart building system, a network of devices, empowered by sensing, processing, and communication units, detects real-world events, exchanges data, and reacts to the outside environment, monitoring certain processes and making corresponding decisions without human intervention. The data generated from such a network is a valuable asset that can be used to guide future management decisions and provide a foundation for even stronger building performance.

    For example, many developers now offer myriad amenities to occupants of office buildings, such as multimedia entertainment rooms, rooftop decks, fitness centers and bars. They install and maintain such amenities not because they are following fads but because data analytics indicate their tenants or employees want them and will use and enjoy them. Long gone are the days when companies made decisions based on subjective thinking, guesswork, or the majority votes of senior managers. More and more often, real estate companies are relying on sensors and devices installed in their buildings to determine whether the amenities they provide represent the optimal use of building space. These devices give property managers real-time occupancy rates and historical usage data. A smart building system can also send notifications to occupants, unlock doors, and provide guidance in the event of an emergency by managing access control, security systems, and camera systems. Other smart building features include automatic control of routine maintenance tasks, such as ordering new light bulbs, optimizing HVAC systems by instantly streamlining heating and cooling of a space, detecting malfunctions and defects, and measuring and adjusting energy consumption via artificial intelligence-based machine learning. Smart buildings facilitate real-time data collection and provide automatic and remote control mechanisms, working far beyond the capabilities of conventional building control systems.

    PropTech-equipped smart building systems resolve security and privacy issues

    Such interconnected systems, however, make smart buildings more vulnerable to cyberattacks. One example is a 2017 incident in a Las Vegas casino, which was hacked via an Internet-connected thermometer in a lobby fish tank. Sensors in the fish tank, connected to the casinos computer network, monitored the temperature, food levels, and cleanliness of the tank. The network connection, however, gave hackers a gateway into the casinos main database, through which they were able to access high rollers personal information.

    These cyber incidents may become more common as buildings incorporate technology and connected equipment to automate building operations. And, to make things worse, todays hackers are going beyond basic ransomware (which holds a system hostage until a ransom is paid) to deploy siegeware software that can take control of smart building devices, shutting down critical operations such as HVAC, lighting or security systems, and denying physical access to and from the building by occupants and, in such siegeware cases, the control wont be rescinded unless the hackers receive a ransom.

    The typical responses to such cyberattacks include deploying a cyber-response team and carrying cyber-risk insurance to compensate for business losses that occur in the wake of a breach. In addition to these conventional methods, propTech-equipped companies are taking proactive steps, strengthening their IoT security by using heightened and advanced identity and access systems.

    Networks are vulnerable to hacking mainly because of single points of gateway access. Emerging technology such as blockchain uses a distributed ledger to store recorded data, thereby decentralizing and securing data independently and lessening the range and degree of risk even if one of the interconnected devices is hacked. Further, blockchains resistance to data alteration significantly blocks attempts at IP address forgery, so that hackers cannot mask their identities and malicious intent by using fake access identities or otherwise temper a networks setting. In terms of data privacy, all transactions stored on the blockchain are encrypted and are protected by a secure authentication mechanism to restrict data access. This zero knowledge technology ensures a verifiable proof of the private datas validity without revealing any additional information other than the truth of the verified property. Thus, any usage or data is not easily traceable to sensitive personal information or the identity of a particular person. Highly confidential information can be stored off-chain and only transaction IDs (hashes) are recorded on the blockchain for verification purposes, providing a higher level of privacy for purposes of authorizing and issuing restricted permissions.

    Smart tech, smart regulations

    As new technologies are emerging, so, too, are new regulations and guidelines which largely focus on accountability and liability, given concerns that the collection and storage of digitized building data may disclose sensitive personal data. Unlike the European Union, the United States has not yet implemented comprehensive privacy and data protection laws. With a few exceptions (as noted in the below FTC recap), issues of privacy and the security of personal information are primarily regulated at the state level. There is currently no federal-level privacy law that would preempt state privacy laws. Many states have implemented laws regarding safeguarding data, disposal of data, privacy policies, appropriate use of personal information, and data breach notification.

    State privacy laws

    The most significant state privacy law is the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA), effective January 1, 2020. The CCPA imposes substantial requirements on the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information. CCPA applies to any business that collects personal data about California residents. CCPA defines a business as a for-profit legal entity that collects and determines how California residents personal data is processed and meets one of the following requirements: (1) has annual gross revenue in excess of $25 million (revenue of the company in total, not solely revenue derived from California); (2) annually buys, sells, receives, or shares the personal data of 50,000 California residents; or (3) derives 50 percent of its annual revenues from selling California residents personal data. A business also includes any entity that is controlled by the business and shares common branding. CCPA requires businesses to provide a detailed notice to California residents that describes the businesss personal data processing and rights. Businesses are required to provide California residents, upon request, detailed descriptions of how the business discloses their personal data to service providers and third parties.

    California IoT law

    Californias Internet of Things (IoT) Security Law went into effect on January 1, 2020 (SB-327). It is the first IoT-specific security law in the United States, requiring manufacturers of connected devices that sell their products in California to incorporate reasonable security features appropriate to the nature and function of the device and the information it may collect or transmit. The law is designed to protect the device and any information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure, wherever the device is made.

    Both manufacturing companies and companies contracted to manufacture IoT devices sold in California need to comply with the new law. The law does contain several exclusions, including security vulnerabilities caused by user installation of third-party software although, since the interconnectivity of third-party software may be the source of a security breach, it remains uncertain whether manufacturers are liable for connected device interactions with such third-party software. A connected device is defined quite broadly and means any device or other physical object that is capable of connecting to the internet (even by being paired with another device) and assigned an IP or Bluetooth address. The law is not limited to mere consumer devices. This definition potentially covers features used in a smart building, such as smart thermostats, keycard readers, security cameras, environmental control panels and light bulbs.

    The reasonable security features requirement also includes broad standards. But SB-327 offers some clarifications. If the device is subject to authentication outside a local area network, then the law clarifies that reasonable security means the device should contain a unique preprogrammed password or require a user to generate a new means of authentication prior to initial access being granted. For devices without means for authentication outside a local area network, the standard will be industry- and device-specific, recognizing the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity technologies by requiring features appropriate to the nature of the device and the information it collects. But note that this guidance relates only to the authentication aspect of the device. The remaining requirements of the law still mandate broadly defined reasonable security features beyond just authentication.

    State breach notification laws

    All 50 states plus two territories and the District of Columbia in the United States have enacted mandatory data breach notification laws. Such laws apply if certain data elements are accessed or acquired by unauthorized parties. In the event of a data security breach, the state laws require data owners to provide written notification to affected individuals. Several states laws require notification to be made within a certain time period and require the notifications to include specific information about the security breach. Approximately half of the states also require notice to a state regulator.

    States that require notices to include certain content typically require the notice to individuals to include: (i) the identity of the notifying entity, including contact information; (ii) a description of the incident, including the date it was discovered; (iii) the categories of personal data affected; (iv) steps the individual can take to protect themselves against identity theft; and (v) contact information for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the national consumer reporting agencies. The majority of state data security breach notification laws also provide a safe harbor from the laws notification requirements if the personal data affected by the security breach was encrypted and the encryption key was not affected by the security breach.

    Certain states, such as Maryland, extend the liable parties to those who maintain the data. The Maryland Personal Information Protection Act Amendment (effective October 1, 2019) extends the states existing data breach requirements to personal information maintained by a business in addition to personal information owned or licensed by a business. Those businesses that simply maintain personal data may not charge the owner or licensee a fee for providing the information needed to notify Maryland residents.

    State data security laws

    Several state laws require data owners to implement reasonable proactive security measures to protect the personal data they collect from their states residents. These laws generally require a data owner to implement reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information, and to protect the personal data from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure and apply in the context of information maintained about both customers and employees.

    New Yorks Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (the first four provisions went into effect on October 23, 2019, while the last one mandating security requirements goes into effect on March 21, 2020) expands the states current data breach law and imposes affirmative cybersecurity obligations on covered entities. It expands the scope of information subject to the current data breach notification law to include biometric information and email addresses and their corresponding passwords or security questions and answers. Further, it broadens the definition of a data breach to include unauthorized access to private information. It applies the notification requirement to any business with private information of a New York resident, not just to those that conduct business in New York State.

    The Maryland Personal Information Protection Act requires businesses to conduct, in good faith, a reasonable and prompt investigation following a data breach to determine the likelihood that personal information of the individual has been or will be misused as a result of the breach.

    Massachusetts law requires companies to maintain an preventative incident response plan that addresses how a company would respond to a cybersecurity incident.

    Certain states, in addition to requiring an entity to maintain appropriate security measures, extend contractual obligations and liabilities to covered third-party entities. For example, Massachusetts data security regulations require that contracts with third-party service providers should, at a minimum, require the provider to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information and to protect the personal data from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure; and require the third-party provider to notify the data owner in the event of a security breach so the data owner can comply with the state data security breach notification requirements.

    More and more real estate companies have started adding data protection and privacy provisions to their property management agreements and third party vendor agreements and imposing obligations upon property managers to comply with such regulations and implement appropriate security measures.

    The privacy or security practice may be subject to FTCs unfair and deceptive trade practices

    At the federal level, the FTC which has trade and regulatory jurisdiction over non-bank financial institutions expects data owners to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the personal data they collect and to protect the personal data from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure. To this end, the FTC has released a set of guidelines for businesses to follow to better protect consumer privacy and security. In recent years, the FTC has focused more on security measures, emphasizing that companies should take measures to safeguard personal data, maintain cyber response processes, and train on those processes.

    For companies security measures, the FTC uses Section 5 of the FTC Acts prohibition on unfair and deceptive trade practices as the basis of enforcement for privacy- and data security-related issues. When alleging that a privacy or security practice is deceptive, the FTC reviews the representations that a company makes (or fails to make) to consumers about its privacy or security practices. A statement is deceptive if there is a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumers detriment. Under Section 5 of the FTC Act and the FTCs guidance, a company must provide accurate and complete disclosures to, and for certain practices, obtain consent from, consumers regarding the companys collection, use and disclosure of personal data. The FTC has enforced its guidance against companies that did not follow such guidance or that engaged in practices similar to those found to be unfair or deceptive in prior consent decrees.

    In addition to the federal FTC Act, each state has also enacted so-called mini-FTC Acts that provide state regulators with the ability to take actions against unfair and deceptive trade practices, which state regulators use to address privacy and data security related issues.

    Getting there

    Historically, the three most important concerns in the real estate industry were location, location and location. Now location, data and security is becoming the new norm. Real estate companies can enjoy a competitive advantage in setting up data-driven services, but need to be mindful that data security and privacy will have a decisive impact on the success of their new business models.

    The manufacturers and technology companies who design and implement IoT and the building owners and operators who contract with such IoT services in their smart buildings are being called upon to ensure greater transparency and accountability transparency about how occupants data and information is used and accountability for actions to safeguard privacy.

    In the coming years, we will see advanced standards for IoT device security and development of system-wide cybersecurity for smart buildings to ensure that all connected devices can communicate securely. We will also see rapid change in the data security and privacy legal landscape that regulates technology companies, owners and operators.

    Prudent owners and operators of smart buildings are already taking important and necessary steps in this direction by implementing protocols to safeguard electronic data and enforcing data management guidelines that include clarity on whos managing the data, what the data will be used for, and whether it will be sold to third parties.

    But more work remains to be done. Such measures will require a comprehensive implementation strategy adopted by businesses to monitor data flow, enhance security measures, conduct periodic risk evaluations, minimize the collection and sharing of personal data, and prevent unauthorized use of personal and sensitive information. And any such successful strategy will require a systematic mechanism to identify vulnerabilities through the supply chain and reduce the potential for harm to the owners and operators systems.

    See the original post:
    PropTech in the United States - where we're heading Part 3: Smart buildings - data is the new gold. Keep it secure. - Lexology

    Studying utility bills covering at least one year, or more, is a good start and it acts as the base line… – MEP MiddleEast - March 5, 2020 by admin

    Deep energy retrofit can be defined as an energy conservation measure in an existing building, leading to overall improvement in the performance of the building.

    It is a whole-building analysis and construction process that aims at achieving on-site energy use minimisation in a building by 50% or more, compared to the baseline energy use calculated through the analysis of utility bills, by making use of latest technologies, materials and good construction practices.

    Deep energy retrofit also involves remodelling the building to achieve harmony in energy, indoor air quality, durability, and thermal comfort. An integrated project delivery method is recommended for a deep energy retrofit project.

    Deep Retrofit is the significant upgrade of building towards the near zero energy requirement, which is practically feasible and achievable.

    By going for deep energy retrofit we can create most value out of investments in the long-term because of the saving potential.

    Conventional energy retrofits focus on isolated system upgrades (lighting and HVAC equipment, pumps and motors, ventilation system etc).

    These retrofits are generally simple and fast, but they often miss opportunity for saving more energy cost effectively.

    Deep energy retrofits require a systems-thinking approach rather than the traditional approach followed for a conventional retrofit.

    A systems thinking approach is evaluating the interaction between different isolated components in the building.

    For example, Home Performance with Energy Star offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving your homes energy efficiency, comfort and safety while helping to reduce the energy costs by 15%-20%.

    In addition to the efficiency measures taken for a building, a deep energy retrofit requires occupants proactive role in energy conservation to understand energy uses in the home, as well as the activities of the occupants.

    Most retrofit approaches are considered light because they focus only on upgrading lighting equipment and adding new motors to the heating and cooling systems.

    This leaves out bigger savings stemming from deeper measures, like new windows, which can reduce heating and cooling loads to the point where big-dollar value equipments can be reduced in size and cost.

    Such interventions are typically not considered because of high up-front cost and perceived higher risk. Those implementing a deep energy retrofit consider all major capital needed in the building over the next several years and plan interventions to this business-as-usual scenario to create higher efficiencies.

    Deep energy retrofit can significantly reduce household energy consumption by taking into consideration space heating and cooling, hot water, lighting, appliances and electric loads as part of retrofit.

    Studying the utility bills covering at least one year, and preferably more, is a good start and it acts as the base line.

    Blower-door testing, Infra-Red imaging and duct-blaster testing offer valuable information about current energy consumption pattern. An assessment of existing conditions of the building envelope is also important.

    A deep energy retrofit probably will include changes to the entire building envelope as well as heating and cooling equipment. Moisture must also be carefully managed by adding perimeter drains in the basement.

    Exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom, or a whole-house ventilation system, where those features are lacking, play critical roles too. Both the site and the structure should be examined with an eye toward adding rooftop- or ground-mounted solar-energy installations, solar hot water collectors, or a wind turbine.

    With a sharp reduction in heating and cooling loads it might be possible to downsize or even eliminate some heating and cooling equipment.

    Most of the living spaces will be involved in retrofitting, so its important to minimise the disruption by starting from the outside of the house and then moving inside.

    Approaching the project from outside also makes it easier to keep the insulation and air barrier continuous. If air leaks in at the bottom of the house, it leaks out at the top, which makes the house cold and drafty in winter.

    A poorly insulated roof can also make a house hot in summer. Insulate the slab and walls and provide air sealing.

    Replace doors and windows with energy-efficient joinery, and specify glazing based on the houses exposure to the sun. Old windows are like big holes in the walls and often leak both air and water while functioning poorly.

    Properly installed, Energy Star (or better) windows seal the holes in the walls to keep out water and weather extremes.

    Filling empty wall cavities with cellulose is a cheap, easy, effective way to warm up an old house.

    Blowing cellulose into existing wall cavities is an art. In fact, there are now inexpensive ways to check with Infra-Red cameras to make sure that all voids have been filled without disturbing the existing plaster or sheathing on outside walls.

    Use high-efficiency mechanical equipment and heat pumps where possible with appropriate controls. Also, provide proper ventilation for combustion equipment.

    Replacing window air conditioners/split units, with a central system wherever possible can also save energy right away, as long as the ductwork has been placed in the conditioned space.

    Reconfigure plumbing to distribute hot water efficiently with proper insulation of water pipes, and choose a high-efficiency water heater.

    All the sanitary wares and fixtures should be chosen as per the Energy Conservation and Building Code guidelines. Use low flow fixtures as far as possible.

    Increase natural daylighting wherever it is possible. Install energy-efficient lighting systems and controls. Replace CFL with LED lights of same the luminosity.

    Fixtures, appliances, and lighting once you have reduced space conditioning and water-heating loads, the lighting, appliance, and plug load is the next big-ticket energy item.

    A new Energy Star refrigerator will use 15% less energy than a standard model. Replacing old light fixtures with LED fixtures helps to lower electricity bills by up to 25%-30%.

    Once your energy consumption has been reduced significantly, it becomes reasonable to produce energy at site with systems such as photovoltaics, wind power, hybrid system(wind and solar) or hydro, if you have a water stream nearby.

    Until you slash energy usage, though, its not worth the investment in renewable power sources. Conservation is still the cheapest game in town.

    One of the most common barriers facing the energy retrofit market is the lack of accountable information and benchmarks to assist energy experts and consultants in creating a clear-cut financial case to demonstrate that investing in energy reduction measures can provide profitable growth.

    A few governments/energy research institutes have started taking lead in this field. Deep energy retrofit requires a multi-disciplinary team with a can-do attitude where the disciplines can constructively collaborate with each other.

    Design professionals, in particular, should be experienced with integrative design.

    In the end I would like to summarise that a successful deep energy retrofit can produce a long-term strategy to phase out energy use in a building to make it super efficient, more desirable to its occupants, and more valuable to owners.

    Our endeavour should be to transition from near zero energy buildings to zero energy buildings, and further to energy plus buildings, which will produce surplus energy than what is required in the building.

    Reach Ashok by sending an email to

    For the latest MEP news from the UAE, Gulf, and around the world, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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    Studying utility bills covering at least one year, or more, is a good start and it acts as the base line... - MEP MiddleEast

    Cheaper Alternatives Sought To Heat And Cool Marks Building – - February 14, 2020 by admin

    The Edward Marks Building Advisory Committee at its February 5 meeting discussed lower-cost alternatives to the $160,000 variable refrigerant flow system proposed earlier by Trane, a heating and ventilation system manufacturer.

    Selectman Douglas C. Brown and building committee member Christian Valle visited the former poorhouse to see if a cheaper system could be installed.

    When we met over there, my HVAC guy said he is planning on going with a high-velocity AC from the attic, fed down into the basement, Mr. Brown said.

    The cost of this system is to be determined. Mr. Valle presented a second alternative.

    What my guy specked was a hydro-air system with the furnace and two air handlers in the basement, and running the duct work out and coming up to the first floor, he said. There would need to be some trenching and concrete cutting work, but wed basically be using the boiler for the heat and putting condensers outside.

    The system costs an estimated $38,000. That figure does not include the cost of excavation or concrete cutting.

    There would be some additional work we would need to figure out to add to that $38,000, Mr. Valle said. It is still going to be significantly less than what the mini-split system is.

    Mr. Brown said the same is true of his proposal, as piping would run down from the attic. This would require the committee to make a decision about the second floor.

    No one decided yet who is in charge of figuring out the use of the second floor, Mr. Brown said. I think wed have to come to a consensus as to what type of walls we want to use up there, whether it is minimal walls just to cover this, or whether we have some kind of layout. That is the snag with the proposal my guy has come up with. The advantage of Christians guys idea is it is all in the basement.

    Committee member Thomas H. Renshaw said the three-inch tubes needed to run heating from the attic to the first floor could be enclosed within a column rather than a wall, preventing the need to fully lay out the second floor.

    Both alternatives avoid the need to inatall exterior piping running down the building.

    Committee chairwoman Barbara M. Weyand said, We have serious concerns about anything going on on the exterior.

    Mr. Brown said the group will determine the cost of these various alternative options.

    It seems like either one will be $100,000 less than the original proposal, he said.

    Ms. Weyand said she will invite Town Manager Julian M. Suso and Assistant Town Manager Peter Johnson-Staub to a future meeting of the committee to discuss these options. She said the options demonstrate there is a more cost-effective way to heat and cool the building that respects the historic nature of the structure.

    Weve shown there are other ways to get heating and cooling there that is cheaper, Mr. Valle said. Once we know what the duct runs will be, we will know what we need to get that excavated and fully completed.

    Mr. Renshaw said the committee should also consider the existing radiator system within the building.

    There is gas service, he said. There is a perfectly good, functional boiler that feeds the radiators. My overwhelming opinion is we should not mess with the heat.

    Though the existing radiator system works, he said, they would need to install an air conditioning system. Noting the changing floor plan for the first floor, Mr. Valle asked if the existing radiator system could serve all future office space.

    Wed need to add baseboard radiation in a few areas not served by the existing radiators, Mr. Renshaw said. Most of that floor plan is covered by the radiators as they exist where they are. I dont believe they should be touched.

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    Cheaper Alternatives Sought To Heat And Cool Marks Building -

    Despite All The Efforts, AMD Radeon GPU Drivers Reportedly Still A Mess Black Screens, Stuttering, Flickering, Inconsistent Clocks & More Issues… - February 14, 2020 by admin

    AMD has released some intuitive features for their Radeon graphics cards in the more recent releases of the Adrenalin software suites but despite its best effort, there are many underlying issues associated with the drivers that have yet to be fixed and are swaying users away from Radeon RX series graphics cards.

    The AMD Radeon RX 5000 series lineup, specifically based on the Navi GPU architecture, launched in July last year. It has been at least 7 months since the Navi architecture-based cards have been shipping in the retail channel giving AMD enough time to fine-tune and optimize drivers around them but it looks like that has not been the case.

    NVIDIA Will Announce Earnings Results Tomorrow And Heres What To Expect (NASDAQ: NVDA)

    From AMD's own subreddit, there are multiple reports from users who are experiencing various issues with their Radeon RX 5000 series 'Navi' graphics cards. The Navi lineup currently includes the following graphics cards which are all but based on the same architecture:

    Now coming to the issues, the first and most prominent bug which users have been experiencing since August 2019 is the black screen issue. AMD has yet to isolate the issue since it's known to occur randomly. Most users have reported a black screen to occur while playing gamers or during driver installation. The first issue could arise due to a driver crash which doesn't reboot the PC but to fix it, you'd have to do it regardless. The second issue occurs due to a buggy driver installation which means that users have to clean all existing entries of the driver install using a utility such as DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller), try to reinstall the drivers again and hope that this time it doesn't lead to a black screen.

    There are also some fixes mentioned by the community such as disabling hardware acceleration or disabling/uninstalling background 3rd party applications and while they have worked for some, there are many users who still haven't gone past the black screen issues despite following the fixes mentioned above.

    In its recent blog post, AMD stated that they are currently investigating the black screen issues along with a handful of other bugs and fixes which would be added in upcoming releases of the Radeon Software.

    XIGMATEK Announces The WindpowerPRO CPU Cooler

    "The stability of our drivers is a key priority for our software team. They are monitoring forum discussions closely, including the black screen and other issues users are reporting, and we are actively identifying and working on fixes. As soon as we have more information to share, we will let you know."

    Note -If you have a Radeon RX graphics card and facing black screen issues recently, then make sure to fill up this survey in accordance with your issue.

    You can also head over to AMD's own bug reporting page directly to report and issues you are facing.

    Radeon Driver Issues User Report

    AMD also claimed to have fixed the black screen issue very recently but it looks like that is not the case as many users are still affected by it and it's not just specific to Navi based graphics cards but also their older Polaris and Vega cards as many Reddit posts point out:

    An intermittent black screen or loss of display may occur when performing parallel actions such as web browsing, gaming or watching video.

    An intermittent black screen or loss of display may occur when the system is left idle at desktop.

    - AMD

    If black screen issues are bugging you out, then other users are also reporting pink & green screen issues which sound even more concerning. A pink and green screen may be due to various reason but the most common reason would be a memory heating problem. This might be specific to some AIB variants where we have seen the memory cooling is very inadequate and revised variants had to be released to sort out the heating problems. Despite the memory running at temperatures under the maximum threshold, it still manages to cross 100C on some variants which are not ideal for GDDR6 when playing games for a longer duration.

    But if you're facing this issue while installing, you're lucky as that's just a minor installation bug which can be fixed by rebooting the PC and a clean install of the drivers as mentioned above. There have also been reports of hard locks while doing nothing at all which requires a PC reboot too. The reports of buggy fan profiles, downclocking, GPU throttle and the flickering is also not unheard of as many tech reporters such as Steve from GamersNexus and Steven from HardwareUboxed have reported these issues in their respective videos which are provided below:

    Now it should be stated that NVIDIA has also had its fair share of issues with Turing based GeForce RTX and GTX cards but they have since ironed out the more teething issues and we don't hear major black screen bugs with their lineup. This is important to mention because AMD's Radeon RX Navi lineup positioned against Turing is entirely under the $500 US range with graphics cards such as the RX 5500 XT, RX 5600 XT and the RX 5700 only holding up in sales figures due to their better value proposition.

    In my own review, I mentioned that the Adrenaline 2020 software suite and the feature set is one reason alone for getting a Radeon card but NVIDIA also has their own share of features which are hardware-accelerated such as the likes of DLSS and RTX. NVIDIA has recently started a price war with AMD, bringing out the likes of the $230 US GTX 1660 SUPER, the $159 US GTX 1650 SUPER and the $299 US RTX 2060. Even the Radeon RX 5600 XT didn't have the most flawless launch with the whole BIOS-shenanigans pushing users to flash their cards with the correct 'free-performance update' BIOS, despite it being one great performer in the sub $300 US segment.

    This and the aforementioned driver bugs put a lot of pressure on AMD as it would push more users away from Radeon RX graphics cards. Even AMD's mobility lineup of GPUs (Integrated & discrete) is affected by driver issues and major inconsistency between the mobility drivers and desktop drivers. If these driver issues remain unfixed and un-checked by AMD, they could result in a major market share loss for team red which they really need right now.

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    Despite All The Efforts, AMD Radeon GPU Drivers Reportedly Still A Mess Black Screens, Stuttering, Flickering, Inconsistent Clocks & More Issues...

    Heres how to install lighting dimmers in your home – - February 9, 2020 by admin

    (Shuttershock Photo)

    The flick of a switch or a slow transition, how do you like your light? Dimmers vs. traditional light switches create ambiance and can reduce the number of times you get up from the sofa to turn the lights on and off.

    Noel Pena, electrician, Fox Valley Electric, a Rosie-Certified partner explains the real difference between traditional and dimmer switches.

    A traditional light switch simply supplies or cuts the power to the lamp or bulb. A dimmer switch used to work by means of a variable resistor, the more resistance, less energy to the bulb and more heat at the dimmer switch therefore dimmer light, Pena said.

    Modern dimmers work differently by rapidly shutting off the light bulb circuit every time the AC current reverses direction 120 times per second. Depending on where the dimmer is set changes how long the circuit is off in milliseconds. The higher the switch is set, the faster the circuit turns back on. This changes the amount of energy supplied to the bulb, and thus the brightness of the light.

    If you are considering changing to a dimmer switch, the first thing to ask is whether it will be compatible with your current lighting system.

    There are three primary styles of dimmer switches.

    This lets the user turn the dial to gradually change the brightness of the bulb.

    (Shuttershock Photo)

    The user simply touches a plate on top to turn the light up or the bottom to decrease brightness until the preferred setting is reached.

    (Shuttershock Photo)

    This allows for controlling two or more different sets of lights by remote control. If you are lounging on the sofa or your favorite chair, you probably dont want to get up multiple times to change the lighting as the sun comes up or goes down, so this is an ideal option. They can be installed anywhere and sometimes without the need for wiring. Some feature wireless controls via computer or cell phone. Oftentimes they can integrate with other smart home systems, such as heating/cooling and security. Voice control is even automated. We can help set all of that up for you, said Pena.

    Many dimmer switches are not compatible with energy-saving light bulbs. An energy-saving bulb contains glass tubes coated in phosphor, said Pena. When electricity passes through the bulb, the gas emits ultraviolet rays which light up the phosphor. When used with a dimmer switch, these bulbs simply flicker on and off. We recommend switches that let you choose from two or three fixed levels of brightness.

    Additionally, incompatible bulbs will limit the dimming range and cause humming, buzzing, and flickering. Unless the manufacturer indicates the bulb is dimmable, do not install any LED or compact fluorescent bulb in a socket controlled by a dimmer.

    There are also tabletop dimmers that are equipped with a cord, plug, and socket. Though the bulbs in the fixture must be compatible with the dimmer.

    Ever notice interference to nearby televisions and radios when you turn the lights on? That happens because the rapid changes in the voltage supplied to the bulb can cause excessive vibrations in its filament, which is magnetic. Higher quality dimmer switches will include inductor chokes or interference capacitors that can smooth the effects of the changing voltage.

    Look for LED bulbs that state they are dimmable. There are several types and color quality available. Manufacturers publish lists of bulbs that are compatible with dimmer products.

    Each dimmer switch comes with a wattage rating that tells you the maximum watts of bulbs you can control with it. Follow the instructions otherwise serious damage or injury can occur. Also, if you will be controlling multiple bulbs from one switch, you need to add up the wattage of each bulb concerned.

    When installing a dimmer, we highly recommend you hire a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician. Electricity is a safety issue, and should really not be left as a DIY project or to a handyman, said Pena.

    A professional electrician will Inspect the wall box in which the dimmer will be installed and take measurements to be sure the dimmer will physically fit. Confirm that the dimmer intended can be used with the type of bulb in your application. Check if the dimmer requires a neutral connection (a wall box with a ground connection and at least two other wires). Help you choose a dimmer with sufficient power capacity by calculating the total wattage of the bulbs to be controlled and choose a dimmer rated for at least a 20 to 30 percent higher power capacity. Check the dimming range with a visual test to ensure it is suitable for a given application. Check labels or markings on the dimmer, packaging or installation instructions for an electrical safety rating such as UL-1472.

    You can mix brands and types of bulbs for simple control situations. With interconnected systems where light is controlled from more than one location or wirelessly, the parts of the system need to talk to each other. In that case, only use products of the same brand or compatible products that are approved for your system.

    Now that you are not dim about dimmers, go ahead and set the mood in your favorite room.

    Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 7 to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If youd like to send us questions or comments, Follow us onTwitterand like us onFacebook.

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    Heres how to install lighting dimmers in your home -

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